Vancouver Canucks goaltender Braden Holtby lost a skate blade in Wednesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Play was whistled down by referee Chris Schlenker as the Canucks played the puck in the defensive zone.

From the NHL rule book:

14.1 Adjustment to Clothing or Equipment – Play shall not be stopped nor the game delayed by reasons of adjustments to clothing, equipment, skates or sticks.

No delay shall be permitted for the repair or adjustment of goalkeeper’s equipment. If adjustments are required, the goalkeeper shall leave the ice and his place shall be taken by the substitute goalkeeper immediately.

NHL Director of Officiating Stephen Walkom weighed in on a similar situation in the past.

“The refs will use common sense [on stopping play after a goaltender loses his skate],” Walkom advised. “If [the defending team] gets control of the puck, they will probably kill the play, but at no time will they disadvantage the opposing team.”

That’s precisely what happened on this play.  Schlenker’s whistle was consistent with his boss’s directive from a few years prior. We’ve seen similar situations handled the same way.

Once Vancouver gained possession of the puck, play was stopped.